science bastards

31 October, 2011

Shrug and Sigh

Filed under: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid, Oh Well, Whatever — sciencebastards @ 7:59 pm

It would be naïve in the extreme to think that clicking on everything in sight or allowing all manner of applications access to your personal Facebook account would not open up your details to marketers.  However, it seems like if some people had any idea of the scope of information that was being collected on them, they would lock themselves in a sealed chamber.  The concept of privacy seems to be fast morphing itself out of existence.  The young people I work with seem entirely comfortable with this fact and it seems the level of alarm people feel is in direct proportion to their age.  The trouble is that we all just shrug at the futility of our situation, and who could blame us?  Our absolute inability to do anything about it only makes the younger look much smarter than their older, wiser counterparts.

I believe one should always think twice about clicking on ads or liking things on Facebook.  Not that you’re going make a huge dent in the data compiled in your name, but the thought that every single thing I do online is being fed into some behemoth spreadsheet somewhere is just depressing.  I rarely search for bomb-making materials online so I’m not too worried about law enforcement getting wind of my habits.  On the flip side of that, I never give info to places that say they just want some responses for “marketing purposes”.  If they want that, they can pay me for it.  Likewise, if I ever take an online survey I make sure to lie as much as possible. Anyone who speaks of “double loyalties” is completely misguided.  The loyalties of those who mine data for a living never lie anywhere except for where the money is flowing from, and that is rarely from those being mined.  I have no illusions whatsoever that I am winning the war on the extraction of my own data but it’s always better to let yourself think you have a say in the matter.

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